Writing needs to be descriptive and interesting otherwise it is easy to lose interest. The writing should be such that the reader can visualize the scene.
‘Show, don’ tell!’
It is a rule that every fiction author lives by. The writing should be gripping enough to transport the reader to our world. And we can start this with first grade onwards. The children need to follow basic instructions to stretch sentences which I will be discussing now.
Sentence – We went to the beach.
It is a rather vague sentence because it does not actually explain anything. The first step in adding life to a sentence could be inserting an adjective. Adjectives are describing words and one of the most effective ways to describe a sentence.
We went to the deserted beach.
Just one word, ‘deserted’ describes the sentence in a way that we can actually picture it.
The next step is adding ‘when?’
We went to the deserted beach before sunrise.
Now, we can picture the scene even better.
After ‘when?’ we move to ‘where?’
We try to give more insight into where the events were taking place.
We went to the deserted beach near our resort before sunrise.
The next step is answering the question, ‘How?’
We grabbed our surfboards and went to the deserted beach near our resort before sunrise.
This sentence gives a complete picture of what was going on at that time.
You may or may not incorporate the last step which is ‘why?’
We grabbed our surfboards and went to the deserted beach near our resort before sunrise to catch some waves.
Now, compare this sentence to where we started. ‘We went to the beach.’
These steps have completely transformed the sentence.
You need to follow all the steps in these exercise worksheets for practice. However, it does not mean that you need to apply all the steps when normally writing a sentence. For practical purposes, you can use one or more of these steps to describe your sentence better.
We went for a holiday.
We went for a long holiday to Bali during summer vacations.
I chose to add the adjective, ‘where’ and ‘when.’
I ate a burger.
I was so hungry after the match that I ate a huge burger at the food court while waiting for mom who was stuck in traffic.
Just following the steps has changed the sentence completely.
Do try these ‘stretch the sentence’ worksheets with your students and see the difference in their writing and expression.
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To clear your grammatical concepts, do check this space. It will make this exercise easier.